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S0lo
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554 posts since 31 Dec, 2008

Postby S0lo; Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:58 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

As much as we care about quality, the public caress about melody.
MusicianMattie
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1 post since 13 Dec, 2017

Postby MusicianMattie; Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:20 pm Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

There's a difference between artistic content and overall quality of listening experience, the enviroment.

A track can have good artistic content and still be horrible to listen to!

:)
Zexila
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Postby Zexila; Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:26 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

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This entire forum is wading through predictions, opinions, barely formed thoughts, drama, and whining. If you don't enjoy that, why are you here? :D ShawnG
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fluffy_little_something
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11470 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:48 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

KBSoundSmith wrote:Not at all. The quality of playback is irrelevant -- how else could $7 ear buds be a thing?

They also don't care about the music. People listen to music for the following reason:

1) as a background to daily tasks (dishes, exercise)
2) as a distraction from silence and the threat of having thoughts
3) as a way of establishing "identity" ("I belong to X culture, sub-culture, etc")
4) to set a general "mood" for other things, like dancing (where the actual music is completely irrelevant -- the slender, gyrating ass isn't), or for film (where Mood is all that matters, and melodic writing is either superfluous, unnecessary, or a distraction from the main event)
5) to establish some level of "ritual" for things like funerals, weddings, etc (although those norms have deteriorated considerably, since people have no longer have any idea whatsoever what music is emotionally suitable for a situation or not)
6) as an excuse to take drugs or give up the rational side of their brain and generally have an excuse for otherwise intolerable behavior

Reality -- most people don't care about music. They'll listen to and enjoy it...but they have no intellectual interest in it, and they sure as hell won't pay for it (People pay for items 3 and 4 -- the sex, the sense of belonging, not the music itself).


I also see it roughly that way.
Same with movies. Most people just want entertainment, i.e. ways to kill their time without being bored. They don't care about cinematographic details. Only few people do, including film critics.

With music, I suppose that also explains why so many people are so eclectic about music. They will listen to anything.

With regard to production as such, I have to say that modern does not necessarily mean good. I prefer the sound of good 80's production to modern productions, although technically speaking the latter are probably superior.
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jancivil
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14725 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:49 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

S0lo wrote:As much as we care about quality, the public caress about melody.

There is too much evidence to the contrary in popular music today. Some of "the public" (far too broad a subject to say anything real meaningful about as a whole) may want a tune and particularly a subsequent earwig their mindtape plays back incessantly, but there is music today, and a lot of of it as far as I can tell, where NOBODY cared about melody or they will have learned something about the craft of it. We have total incompetents cranking out tunes (or at best totally cynical hacks acting like they are) today. And this is definitely a newer development. Let alone all the rap or hip-hop where there is no music to speak of outside of a simple scansion 'rapped' over a mindless beat. Now they put the sick pretense of melody over that, all autotune so no one has to even sing the thing. Many trends against 'caring' about normal musical values.
Daimonicon
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278 posts since 30 Aug, 2012, from Sweden

Postby Daimonicon; Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:39 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

KBSoundSmith wrote:Not at all. The quality of playback is irrelevant -- how else could $7 ear buds be a thing?

They also don't care about the music. People listen to music for the following reason:

1) as a background to daily tasks (dishes, exercise)
2) as a distraction from silence and the threat of having thoughts
3) as a way of establishing "identity" ("I belong to X culture, sub-culture, etc")
4) to set a general "mood" for other things, like dancing (where the actual music is completely irrelevant -- the slender, gyrating ass isn't), or for film (where Mood is all that matters, and melodic writing is either superfluous, unnecessary, or a distraction from the main event)
5) to establish some level of "ritual" for things like funerals, weddings, etc (although those norms have deteriorated considerably, since people have no longer have any idea whatsoever what music is emotionally suitable for a situation or not)
6) as an excuse to take drugs or give up the rational side of their brain and generally have an excuse for otherwise intolerable behavior

Reality -- most people don't care about music. They'll listen to and enjoy it...but they have no intellectual interest in it, and they sure as hell won't pay for it (People pay for items 3 and 4 -- the sex, the sense of belonging, not the music itself).

And all of my friends and family are the same: They only listen to the vocals. They don't care nor do they understand how important the rest of the instruments are for a song to be good or why well recorded and mixing make or break an album/song. On the dance floor nobody cares either. They're either drunk or stoned anyway. :lol: They're more worried if they will get laid tonight or not. :roll:

Whem I was sixteen and bought Yngwie Malmsteens Marching Out LP, which he produced himself I immediately heard how bad it sounded compared to other records I had. I had only played guitar for a year. I had no clue then why it sounded so bad or the reason why. But I was the only one who noticed it.
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fluffy_little_something
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11470 posts since 5 Jun, 2012, from Portugal

Postby fluffy_little_something; Thu Dec 14, 2017 10:46 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

I was already surprised when I sent my mom a CD like two years ago and a couple of days later she said it sounded good and very clean. She has no clue of production and it was the first remark on sound as such I ever heard from her. Maybe because the lyrics were in Portuguese (which she doesn't speak), so she had to focus on something else, namely the music as such.
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S0lo
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554 posts since 31 Dec, 2008

Postby S0lo; Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:35 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

jancivil wrote:
S0lo wrote:As much as we care about quality, the public caress about melody.

There is too much evidence to the contrary in popular music today. Some of "the public" (far too broad a subject to say anything real meaningful about as a whole) may want a tune and particularly a subsequent earwig their mindtape plays back incessantly, but there is music today, and a lot of of it as far as I can tell, where NOBODY cared about melody or they will have learned something about the craft of it. We have total incompetents cranking out tunes (or at best totally cynical hacks acting like they are) today. And this is definitely a newer development. Let alone all the rap or hip-hop where there is no music to speak of outside of a simple scansion 'rapped' over a mindless beat. Now they put the sick pretense of melody over that, all autotune so no one has to even sing the thing. Many trends against 'caring' about normal musical values.


What I really meant is (it seams) that 80% to 90% of the general public would prefer a catchy entertaining tune/sequence/melody that has been produced by a hobbyist at home over a rather mildly interesting tune that has been professionally mastered by a sound engineer. i.e The musical content comes first.

May be I'm wrong, and may be I missed the terminology here. But thats what it seams to me at the moment.
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jancivil
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14725 posts since 20 Oct, 2007, from No Location

Postby jancivil; Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:13 pm Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

Well, my experience is a lot of shit is selling. And if what they play regularly at the Starbucks in both downtowns I frequent is any sign, there are trends towards melody which is unheard-of poor craft. Made by people like they were born yesterday with no history of melody to draw from. And who absolutely rely on some techie with a certain knowledge of teh Cher Effect via Autotune to even make many or most of the notes sound.

I would never assess something as ill-defined as 'the general public' or '80 to 90 percent of people' like I had an ease of facility with that kind of thing, myself. My experience may not be that of the general public but if these things are on that playlist, or let's take another area with another horrorshow of a playlist, some music of more than one type, that I cannot respect on the basis of any melodic gift or a way with a tune particularly, has sold significant units somewhere.

As to the sound quality, well there is evidence that really lossy mp3s are preferred by many. I don't know, it doesn't much matter, I just took the time to rant on something I find alarming and depressing.
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aciddose
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11885 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Postby aciddose; Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:00 pm Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI677jYfKz0

Someone activated society's self-destruct sequence and left us 30 seconds to press the abort button ... 50 years ago.
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Jace-BeOS
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4606 posts since 7 Jan, 2005, from Corporate States of America

Postby Jace-BeOS; Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:47 pm Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

What a depressing thread.

On top of acknowledging that most people don't give a toss about music as anything other than a light distraction or cure for the dreaded silence (WTF is wrong with people, being so averse to silence??), it's a reminder that there are still more ways to describe myself as being completely fringe: I care about the sound quality of music presentation.

I don't really know the general public. I'm not part of that world and I don't get on with those people beyond casual interactions between strangers in public. I'm a fringe subset of a fringe subset of the population. What the majority thinks and does is not at all represented by the sample of one that is i. I have to guess that their interest is far more general and abstracted then my own. I have sampled the populous and judged it to be so.

As a lengthy pretext to a personal anecdote: I never had patience or tolerance for either radio or vinyl noises/distortion. Even tape hiss could annoy me, but the sounds of an imperfect radio transmission, or of dust and scratches on records, was a particular type of annoying distraction to me (I cannot comprehend why people like Trent Reznor are obsessed with vinyl; it's entirely irrational to choose vinyl over CD, aside from the album artwork size). I grew up with tapes first, but CD will always be the medium I love. It can be as noiseless as the source content itself. I use MP3 at maximum fidelity and can only tell the difference on certain sounds, mostly when I have both to compare (it's confusing when my musicians of favor use distortion that itself mimics audio frequency compression and uses tons of intentional distortion). I'm comfortable with the convenience of high quality MP3, but I still want the CDs.

Until I became a musician, I didn't really know what made "ear candy" as opposed to uninteresting or outright painful recordings, but I reacted to them. The only time I suppressed my perfectionism was when I was dealing with music on computers: how else could I have started as a musician, using sound tracker software, if I couldn't tolerate 8-bit samples with aliasing and 12000-32000 Hz "lowpass filtering" by the fact that almost none of that stuff was sampled at "CD quality"? Hell, the shitty sampling was part of the charm. It's a freakin genre now. (Though I admit the cassette tape recording of Larry Fast's music from college radio was less sterile than the version I later acquired on CD, I definitely prefer it without the interference; the desirable analog distortion was likely in the studio, not caused by the delivery mechanism). I never heard any amateur music productions in my childhood, so I cannot really say how I might've reacted to them, but I absolutely HATED the shitty sound systems at live music performances!

And don't get me started on the contractors, cyclists, and grocery store stockers who bring their tiny little MP3 player, radio, or cell phone with them, polluting my sonic space with their shitty music, often compressed both dynamically and spectrally, being spit out of a loud, shitty, and tiny mono speaker that probably wasn't even engineered for reproducing music.

Now that I've presented some sense of my listening preferences, here is the personal anecdote:

I had a hipster friend some years ago. He wanted to show off his latest band interest called "Guided by Voices". So I listened to their stuff. The musicality was fantastic. They were great songs written by great musicians. I don't recall the performances being poor, but the sound quality was f**king shit. I couldn't stomach more than one listen to each song on multiple albums. I remember yelling "why is this even on CD??" It was a shame. A loss.

I told my hipster friend that it was hard to listen to the music because of the lousy production/recording. I was therefore not remotely enthusiastic about the band. He told me that the band hated the whole "music industry scene", or some other similar hipster holier-than-thou, realer-than-thou, apologetics bullshit. He wrote me off as being tasteless, as was his way.

A couple years later, he told me "someone finally convinced them to do a professionally-produced album in a proper studio..."

I said "how is it?"

He said "it's awesome!!"

Clearly he could tell the difference. He just didn't give a shit, for the most part.

He was a consumer. Even with his so-called thoughtful personality, his tastes were driven by things outside the parameters of the objective qualities of the subjects of his tastes. For whatever sense of taste he had underneath it all, he was driven by ego, identity, and social pressures. The irrational psychosocial influences were strong. In this, he's very much an example of the general populous.

He liked lots of excellent music. As an end-consumer, he did have great taste. Numerous taste choices overlapped between us and he definitely influenced my interests in the arts. However, his irrational mind was inherently and ultimately the boss of his habits and interests. If he felt like he should (or should not) like something due to some outside factor, that's how it would be (unless the pressure came from the masses he rejected instead of the masses he embraced; you know the rebels who rebel in exactly the same ways as each other... no, not THOSE alternative people, the OTHER uniform clique of alternative popular culture).

He justified his "Guided by Voices" interest as indicative of his higher-quality, deeper discernment, and his better character... "allowing himself focus on the music, not the production"... whereas I was clearly shallow and unsophisticated, preferring "easy and accessible" ear candy and slick studio productions (often shortcut as "sellouts"). I like some pretty inaccessible music when it comes coupled with high-quality production, but let's just ignore that, because we are supposed to be justifying his superiority over me...

What it boils down to is that he provided a linguistically-complex version of "well I like it; I don't care about your sound quality nonsense". It was a high-minded rationalization for a low-minded value judgment. He liked some good songs by a new band. He wanted to feel like he had some special "in" on a band before everyone else. He was trying to bring me into the fold and I rejected his offering. Maybe I hurt his feelings. Maybe he even unconsciously saw the low quality of their production as a protection from this "newfound marginal band" becoming a "sellout smash hit" in the mainstream (which would lose it its cool).

As far as I'm concerned, great music is made into lesser (bad?) music by being delivered with an "I don't give a f**k" presentation; this definitely affected my emotional response to "Guided By Voices". If they don't care to present their music to me in a way that feels like they gave a shit, how much of a shit should I give in response? That's my irrational emotional response, but it was driven by an unpleasant listening experience. Since I wasn't having the experience from the angle of an insecure hipster, I had nothing to gain or lose by liking or disliking the band's music. I needed to make no complex justification to myself about it in order to "be hip" or whatever. I could react to it, and I could take it or leave it, as purely a musical experience.

Edit: I also had only created a dozen MOD or XM modules by that time, so it's not like I was working with professional studio gear myself.

I witnessed this hipster friend experience conflict over what he liked vs what was acceptable to the culture he wished to be a part of (hipsters, I guess, which I didn't know of by name back then, if the term even existed yet??). I was treated like an inferior or a child by him when I didn't agree with his tastes (a dynamic I won't ever allow into my life again). He was also a contrarian by habit (to the point where I sometimes toyed with making him take a particular position by presenting my opinion first). After I eventually dropped him as a friend, I met him a year later at a social event where he jumped in and habitually scoffed at the band a new girlfriend had suggested to me (because of popularity), when a third party asked me "so what have you been listening to lately?" I wonder if he has changed since then.

The relevant part: while I don't think he's absolutely mainstream, he was definitely always way more mainstream than myself (and way more mainstream than he wanted to admit). So I reference him when I think of "discerning consumers" of the arts. Well, those consumers who have what I consider to be "good taste". As an example of "consumers", he's not as fringe as myself. He makes an okay example of "the masses" or "the general populace".

If I were to think about the consumers who I consider to have "bad taste", well... they say there's no accounting for taste, so I shouldn't judge such people...

...but I do. I'm attentive to details and it drives me batty to live on a planet populated by an overwhelming majority of human beings who have a hard time communicating at a high school level of language skills, or even knowing and understanding themselves, let alone others. Hell, just forget the notion of said people being remotely detail-oriented. Details overwhelm them (because they're so busy attending to all the ways in which their compliance is demonstrated to their peers). They aren't trained to attend to details, grey areas, subtly, or even much beyond "how to get what I want". They're actively conditioned against intellectual pursuits by their culture.

It's depressing to be a fringe member of a civilization of such people. When you think about it, the majority sets the standards for normative states by sheer overwhelming numbers. The tyranny of the majority. We detail-oriented people are the exceptions to the "norm". Caring so much about "proper" music production and presentation is clearly some kind of "wrongness"... :-P

By the way, I'm in full agreement with a lot of the other responses here. The general populace reacts to the extremes of good and bad, even if they don't know it. They don't, however, generally respond to the finer details, and when tasked to do so, they are apt to either cite ignorance (fair enough) or slag you off. They don't process music the way a detail-oriented music creator processes it. What we do in pursuit of "good production" doesn't matter as much to the general populace as it matters to us. They don't even process music with as much detail as a band like "Guided by Voices" apparently processed their own music when they said "eh, good enough", just before shipping off a stack of discs of their shittily-recorded music to record stores...

If they can hear it well enough to sing along (whether or not they comprehend it) and bob vaguely to the beat, that's probably good enough for the general populace. For audiophiles and musicians... all bets are off, but those people are not the general populace.
- dysamoria.com
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aciddose
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11885 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Postby aciddose; Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:20 pm Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

I read your whole post, every word and I can see what you're saying, but I think you're wrong. Not entirely in every aspect as the majority of your post is merely your own reflection of subjective observations. I think only that you're over-thinking it a bit too much and this is adding so much clutter piled up on top that you limit your ability to see through it all.

I would argue that most humans, animals in general are emotional creatures. Most of what we observe and categorize as emotions are formed in the more basic and fundamental regions of our brain. The portions which are uniquely human (arguable of course, but nonetheless without regard for that) are ultimately responsible for organizing memory and modulating other foundational parts of the brain. In other words human intelligence is based upon our ability to control emotion and to override emotional responses while mixing and mapping signals from multiple mostly independent regions of the brain, based upon memory: this is called rational, logical thinking.

If you simplify things to that level you should quickly come to realize that what you've said about the subject can be greatly simplified and in that way clearly understood:

"He justified his "Guided by Voices" interest as indicative of his higher-quality, deeper discernment, and his better character... "allowing himself focus on the music, not the production"..."

"As far as I'm concerned, great music is made into lesser (bad?) music by being delivered with an "I don't give a f**k" presentation; this definitely affected my emotional response to "Guided By Voices". If they don't care to present their music to me in a way that feels like they gave a shit, how much of a shit should I give in response? That's my irrational emotional response, but it was driven by an unpleasant listening experience."

"The relevant part: while I don't think he's absolutely mainstream, he was definitely always way more mainstream than myself (and way more mainstream than he wanted to admit)."

Are you really so certain the definition of "mainstream" you're using is not subjective and unique for every individual? Much like your personal tastes in music based upon your intuitive emotional response and interpretation of wholly imagined properties representing for you the level of "give a f**k" of the artist.

If you want to really understand things more clearly you need to question: what is music without emotion? Can you imagine listening to music without your own emotions present? Can you imagine existing even for a moment without your emotions?

I can tell you the answer: you can.

To control our emotion is a uniquely human capability that we have no evidence any other species possesses. Not only can we mute and suppress emotion, we can synthesize emotion.

Take your own reins in hand:
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Would you listen to music if it was meaningless?
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whyterabbyt
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25908 posts since 3 Sep, 2001, from R'lyeh Oceanic Amusement Park and Funfair

Postby whyterabbyt; Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:27 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

well f**k it, KVR just completely ate a lengthy reply. f**ked if Im going to reconstruct it now so.

suffice it to say I dont give a f**k about music production quality, it contributes minimally to what makes music 'great' or not to me. I see no worth in the fetishisation of the process, the medium, the tools over the spirit, the vitality, the emotional impact, the resonance, of the music itself.
i read dogeared, flyblown, loose-paged paperbacks too.
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kelvyn
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1012 posts since 9 Mar, 2008, from netherlands

Postby kelvyn; Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:54 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

whyterabbyt wrote:well f**k it, KVR just completely ate a lengthy reply. f**ked if Im going to reconstruct it now so.

suffice it to say I dont give a f**k about music production quality, it contributes minimally to what makes music 'great' or not to me. I see no worth in the fetishisation of the process, the medium, the tools over the spirit, the vitality, the emotional impact, the resonance, of the music itself.
i read dogeared, flyblown, loose-paged paperbacks too.


Right on:)
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el-bo (formerly ebow)
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10191 posts since 24 May, 2009, from A galaxy, far far away

Postby el-bo (formerly ebow); Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:01 am Re: How much do the general public actually care about music production quality?

kelvyn wrote:
whyterabbyt wrote:well f**k it, KVR just completely ate a lengthy reply. f**ked if Im going to reconstruct it now so.

suffice it to say I dont give a f**k about music production quality, it contributes minimally to what makes music 'great' or not to me. I see no worth in the fetishisation of the process, the medium, the tools over the spirit, the vitality, the emotional impact, the resonance, of the music itself.
i read dogeared, flyblown, loose-paged paperbacks too.


Right on:)


Yup!
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